Posts from the ‘Technology’ Category

Marx TV Tennis [1977]

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It wasn’t actually a TV, but it provided hours of entertainment for the stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad and her brother.

The Marx TV Tennis game was released in 1975, as a completely mechanical version of the game Pong. The “ball” is actually an illuminated flashlight bulb connected by long rubber springs to the player’s control knobs.

This was a Christmas gift from their Mom in 1977.  Cost: $34.95 plus tax.  While the TV Tennis game itself is long gone, the box has been kicking around our garage now for as long as I can remember – holding various family stuff like toys and such.  But that too had to end, when the box started to fall apart. Before recycling it, I did the right thing and scanned all the artwork.

Enjoy the colors and the retro-tech!

TVTennis01 Stitch

An interactive game run by a series of rubber bands and plastic gears?  Choke on that, Android App 🙂

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TVTennis05 Stitch Stitch

The above picture was the entire side of the box.  To present it here, I had to to six different scans on my flatbed scanner and then stitch them together in Windows Live Photo Gallery.

TVTennis11 Stitch

The game was shipped to – and purchased from – Lake Hills Toys in Bellevue WA.  While the Sixties-era strip mall still exists, the store is gone.

TVTennis13 Stitch

Introducing The Big Wheels, the neighborhood gang who found TV Tennis to be the most amazing thing to ever hit the unfinished basements of suburbia.  Jeffrey exemplifies the insecure kid in the neighborhood who only had friends because he put on an air of intelligence.  He got beat up a lot. I have no idea what Wendy is talking about, since the most successful multi-tasking I’ve seen comes from Mrs. BelRedRoad.  Daniel, you’re 7.  Why on Earth would you watch real Tennis on TV?  Oh yeah…Chris Evert.  Noodles grew up to be high-powered track coach.

Shrimp is on the most epic riding toy. Ever.

Perk-A-Tor the Giant Percolator

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In my search for a percolator to have at my work cubicle, I came across this Cory Jubilee Automatic Percolator at Value Village.  It’s huge; at 18-cup capacity it’s twice the size of my beloved Perky!

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While the coffee strength dial is stuck just above “Medium,” the $5.00 purchase was a mere pittance compared to the $30.00 to $60.00 I’ve seen these Corys offered at on the Inter-Tubes.  Maybe I can fix it if I can take it apart, but I want to enjoy it for a while before doing that.

Listening to it brew is an adventure.

It rumbles to life as the water starts to heat.  As it pushes the water up the tube into the coffee chamber, the pressure pushes the lid up – making it crash back down. Several minutes later, as it finishes up, the boiling and perking gets to a near violent burst of liquid energy – only to slow to a stop before the strength dial starts to glow as an indicator that the work is done.

Clearly, it deserves the name “Perk-A-Tor!”

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Another endearing feature is the gold textured metal ring around the top of the unit, a sign that Cory designed it to make a lot of coffee in style.  This percolator will make a fine addition to my cubicle at work, where the coffee needs to taste much better!

1970s Smith-Corona Typewriters

Check out this this awesome ad from Smith-Corona Typewriters. Posted by Golden Oldie Ads!

Big Fifties Bomber and The Cold War Cowboy

“Well it was about that time when ole Clem mosied on down to the air strip to take a gander at one of them New-Q-Ler Bommers…”

One of the cutest Fifties pictures I’ve ever seen.  The little man has the stance, the hat and the weapons to remain part of popular culture well into the 21st Century.  I wonder if – as an adult – he realizes that his picture is all over the InterTubes these days.  And the object of his determined look?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the YB60 strategic bomber.

The YB60 was a jet-powered prototype version of the Convair B-36 Peacemaker.  Both planes – being integral to the defense of America during The Cold War – were designed to carry nuclear weapons.  While the B-36 enjoyed a fairly long career (1946 to 1959), the YB60 never got past experimental stage.

The official statement that went with this picture says,

A young “cowboy”, the son of a member of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California, looks over the Convair built YB-60 during its visit at Edwards from the Fort Worth, Texas, plant.  1953

Ride `em Clem!!

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US Air Force Photo, 1953 (Public Domain)
Original Image URL: www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/040315-F-9999G-008…

Twin Lens Reflex Camera

Yashica 44 Baby Rollei TLR

A few years ago I found this squirreled away in a cabinet, along with a treasure trove of family slides taken by my in-laws. After researching the camera on the internet I found out that the film it used was obsolete but still available from a couple of sources. I just got some color film for it in the mail, and have started taking pictures with it this week. It’s quite an experience to us this camera.

Here’s my write-up at Rusty Camera.

2/4/2012 – Here’s my write-up on the first roll of film through the camera! – http://rustycamera.posterous.com/yashica-44lm-first-roll-through-in-40-years

Flash Bulbs Baby!

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Capturing those special moments in the past was a bit tougher back in the Sixties.

There were no smartphones with LED flashes to light the subject (or illuminate the subject’s eyes in a weird glow). Getting those great shots of Aunt Edna and Uncle Ted’s Fiftieth at the Lodge meant coming armed with equipment to light up the wood paneling inside the hall.

It also meant having plenty of flash bulbs.

These single-use wonders would pop off like an atomic bomb and be done.  The light was brilliant, and then it was gone.  The hot little bulbs had to be extracted with a cloth due the residual heat. Hey, getting the right shot was hard work back in the day!

I’m old enough to have used them as a kid, especially the Flash Cubes below:

imageThe world has changed, and the bulbs to feed the flashes are getting tougher to find. But for now they are solid artifacts that – to the smartphone generation – may need to be explained.

Edna and Ted would definitely approve 🙂

Zeiss Ikon Colora F Rangefinder Camera [1963]

Zeiss Ikon Colora F Rangefinder - 1963

Bought this 35mm camera off eBay recently.  I bought it because I loved the Zeiss fold-out camera I borrowed from a friend last year.  The Colora F is from 1963, and part of a long line of rangefinders from Zeiss Ikon.  Simple operation, 50mm lens, and solid construction.  Aperture can be set from f2.8 to f22.  It has four shutter speeds: B, 30, 60, and 125.  Should work well with film speeds up to 400 here in the overcast Seattle weather.  The flash hot shoe flips up to expose a spot to insert a flash bulb (can people even buy those anymore?).

Really looking forward to running a roll through it!

BOAC VC-10 Jet Airliner

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Straight out of the stamp and coin shop comes this gem of a postcard!

The Vickers VC-10 was a British-built jet with style.  Introduced in 1962, there are still about a dozen in service with the RAF as mid-air refuelers.  This postcard appears to be stamped in 1967, sent to an address in Switzerland.

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All Hail the Terminal!

Old school data terminal, seen at the Computer Museum in Re-PC in Seattle. They had hard drives the size of heads, and an entire selection of original Apple products.

Awesome!

Righteous Rotary Phone

Rotary Phone

Red and White, found at Triple XXX Drive-In in Issaquah WA.  Phone number was from West Seattle WA.

Why don’t all phones have this much moxie these days?

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